When your Multiple Intelligences results are unsurprising to you …


I took the self-assessment from edutopia on how my intelligences work (??), and here are my results.

Is ANYONE surprised that I have the lowest percentage in Logical-Mathematical? Not me, that’s for sure! 😀

Reviews · Uncategorized

A Conceivable Classic: The Princess Bride (the film!)

The Princess Bride. Directed by Rob Reiner. 98 minutes. Act III Communications/Buttercup Films Ltd., The Princess Bride Ltd. 1987, $39.95 (DVD). ASIN: B00PGTNA52

A boy is sick in bed when his grandfather comes to visit. Rather than being given free reign to play video games, the kid is made to listen to his grandpa tell a story, one that his grandfather had told to the boy’s dad when he was sick growing up. The story? It’s about a girl named Buttercup, Westley (her former farm boy), a king, a giant, a sword master bent on revenge, and a conniving kidnapper. Death, miracles, swordfights, and drama ensue. Will true love win the day? (And will this book be better than a regular sports book, even though it has kissing in it?)

I watched most of this movie when I was in high school, and I have read the book, but I had not seen the film all the way through. Common Sense Media lists this as a “Laugh Out Loud” “Essential Movie” for tweens (ages 8+). Despite references to breasts, jokes that might go over kids’ heads but adults will notice, bloody wounds, and violence, I would have to agree. The slapstick and pratfalls are hilarious, the drama is real, and the tension sustains itself over the course of the movie. As each issue appears to be wrapped up, a new twist sets the story off on another dramatic course. Interruptions from the boy hearing the story heighten some drama, as his reactions (i.e., nervousness when the shrieking eels close in on Buttercup) reflect what we viewers feel.

Tween reviewers echo that the film can be scary. One Common Sense Media kid reviewer (10 years old) wrote a review titled “Way too scary” in which they talk about the violence in the movie and the fact that “This movie gave me nightmares for a while after I saw it” (2015). The same reviewer said it was a good movie, but they advise parents to know their kids’ “scary” thresholds before turning on the movie. Other reviewers posted about enjoying the adventure, the romance, and the humor.


Programming Idea: This would be a great movie activity for older students. The library could potentially hold a Princess Bride club reading. The movie viewing would be the final activity for the club’s focus on the book, followed by a discussion of what the film kept and what the film cut from the book. The book involves many more story elements (as often happens when books are made into movies), and it would be fun to talk about the ways that the “interruption” style is used in each medium. (Idea from myself).


Reviews read:

Common Sense Media. (n. d.). All teen and kid member reviews for The Princess Bride.    Common Sense Media. Retrieved from https://www.commonsensemedia.org/movie-reviews/the-princess-bride/user-reviews/child

Common Sense Media. (n. d.). Essential Movies: Laugh Out Loud. Common Sense            Media. Retrieved from https://www.commonsensemedia.org/guide/essentialmovies/s/age%207-12/laugh%20out%20louds?page=1

Common Sense Media Editors. (n. d.). The Princess Bride (Review of the movie The         Princess Bride). Common Sense Media. Retrieved from             https://www.commonsensemedia.org/movie-reviews/the-princess-bride

Kid, 10 years old. (2015, May 16). Way too scary. Common Sense Media. Retrieved from           https://www.commonsensemedia.org/movie-reviews/the-princess-bride/user-    reviews/child


Reviews · Uncategorized

The International Cookbooks

The International Cookbooks

Locricchio, Matthew. The International Cookbook for Kids. Illustrated by Jack McConnell. Two Lions (Amazon Children’s Publishing Imprint), c2004, p2012. 175 pages. Tr. $11.09, ISBN 978-0-7614-6313-9

Interest Level: 5-8

Locricchio, Matthew. The 2nd International Cookbook for Kids. Illustrated by Jack McConnell. Two Lions, 2008. 176 pages. Tr. $11.09, ISBN 978-1-50394-648-4

Interest Level: 3-6

Cuisine: Varied

These are two cookbooks that introduce children to different cultures as well as foods from those cultures. Each book includes introductory information on various places, ingredients from those places that are most commonly used in cooking there, and other cultural information. Then, recipes from those places (i.e., Greece, Italy, Mexico, China) are featured. There are no step-by-step photos for the preparation of these recipes, but the photographs included are very clear and engaging. The photographs also do not look “dated” as some children’s cookbooks occasionally do (for example, the Cooking the ____ Way series). Furthermore, backmatter for the first book includes tips on kitchen safety, cooking terms, and what tools are used in the kitchen; all of these sections are great ways for kids to learn more about what is involved in cooking. The reason I opted to include these two cookbooks is because the books themselves are fairly large and easy to read, a very important element for any cookbook, but especially for younger chefs who may need to take time going through recipes more than once. Tiny print in a tiny book that refuses to stay open is useless, so this book’s large format and print make this a great book for tweens who are just getting started.


Reviews Referenced:

Horn Book Guide. (2005, Spring). (untitled) (Review of the book The International           Cookbook for Kids). Horn Book Guide, 81(2). Retrieved from             http://www.hbook.com/horn-book-guide/

Library Media Connection. (2005, April/May). (untitled) (Review of the book The            International Cookbook for Kids). Library Media Connection, 23(7). Retrieved          from http://www.abc-clio.com/LibrariesUnlimited.aspx

Publishers Weekly. (2005, Jan. 10). The international cookbook for kids (Review of the     book The International Cookbook for Kids). Publishers Weekly. Retrieved from            http://www.publishersweekly.com/978-0-7614-5185-3

Burner, J. A. (2005, Jan. 1). The international cookbook for kids (Review of the book The            International Cookbook for Kids). School Library Journal, 51(1). Retrieved from           http://www.slj.com/

Reviews · Uncategorized

Bones, Boats, and Books: Doll Bones by Holly Black

Podehl, Nick and Black, Holly. Doll Bones. Digital file. Listening Library/Findaway World, 2013. 5 hours 11 minutes, 23 seconds. $39.00 ISBN 978-0-8041-2293-1

This is a wonderful unabridged audiobook. The book alone would definitely be creepy, but hearing this ghost story aloud is chilling. Poppy, Alice, and Zach are engrossed in a game involving pirates, thieves, and an imprisoned Queen. The Queen, an expensive bone china doll locked in Poppy’s mother’s living room case, is the focal point of their adventures. While they have been barred from ever opening the case (let alone touching the doll), the children use the Queen as the driving force behind all of their characters’ action. When Zach’s father throws away Zach’s action figures in an effort to force him to grow up, Zach is so upset that he can’t bear to tell his friends what happened. Instead, Zach lies and says that he doesn’t want to play anymore. In an attempt to draw Zach back into the game, Poppy opens her mother’s cabinet and takes out the Queen. Immediately, Poppy claims that the ghost of Eleanor Kirtchner appeared to her in the night, telling her story and claiming to be the ghost of the dead girl used to make the Queen. The china that makes up the Queen’s body? According to Poppy, it came from Eleanor’s bones. Poppy claims that the only way to put Eleanor’s spirit to rest is to bury the Queen in Eleanor’s own (empty) grave … all the way in East Liverpool, one state over and a long bus ride away.

Black can transition from game to ghost story in an instant, leaving the exploits of William and Lady J in the dust as she jumps to a frightening description of the Queen and her (perhaps malign) intentions. Poppy, Alice, and Zach have clearly differentiated voices in Podehl’s reading, and Zach is a fun narrator to walk alongside as we try to ensure that the Queen is properly buried. Is the Queen really haunted by Eleanor’s ghost, or did Poppy just make it all up as one last, grand Game? It’s a creepy, delightful, “unputdownable” story, perfect for a student who enjoys ghost stories, Neil Gaiman, or other scary reads.

Tweens who reviewed the book on Common Sense Media were split. Of the three reviews, one tween loved the book, one was very disappointed and wished that it was up to par with Black’s other books, and the third thought that it was too scary. Despite these mixed reviews, if there was interest in my patron base, I would like to use this book with students for a fun read. School Library Journal also selected this audiobook as a “Pick of the Day” in 2013.


Programming Ideas: This would be a fantastic alternate to a library read-aloud for older students. At five hours it’s a bit of a commitment, but perhaps a group of interested students could gather at their lunch breaks to listen. Doing half an hour a day only took me about a week and a half, so it’s definitely a doable listen as a pre-Halloween scary read! (Idea from myself).


Reviews read:

Common Sense Media. (n. d.). All teen and kid member reviews for Doll Bones.    Common Sense Media. Retrieved from             https://www.commonsensemedia.org/book-reviews/doll-bones/user-reviews/child

School Library Journal. (2013, Aug. 2). Pick of the day: Doll bones (audio) (Review of      the audiobook Doll Bones). School Library Journal. Retrieved from    http://www.slj.com/2013/08/industry-news/pick-of-the-day-doll-bones-audio/

Stewart, D. (n. d.). Doll bones (Review of the book Doll Bones). Common Sense Media.   Retrieved from https://www.commonsensemedia.org/book-reviews/doll-bones



Not a review: I’m back!



Sorry for starting this blog and then not posting for nearly three months … I’ve been reading and reviewing, but I decided to hold off posting here until I finished the HUGE review journal I was putting together for my tween materials class. Now that I’ve finished that up, I will queue the 40 reviews I’ve written for that document so that they come out daily (still haven’t put the queue together, but this blog will start updating soon). 🙂

In the meantime, I’ll post some reviews that did not go into that assignment.


Catch-up Post: Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick

This blog is going to house my 45 books read this semester for my materials for tweens class, but I also want to use this site to hold my thoughts/reviews/whatevers for any MG or other young read book I’ve read! So, here is the first in a short series of books that I read this summer for another class.

As I wrote on my main blog,

Wonderstruck was gorgeous, although given Selznick’s work, that’s no surprise! I loved the overlapping stories of the boy in the 1970s and the girl in the 1920s. I especially loved how her story was told largely in graphic format. What a great read!

The illustrations, per Selznick’s usual, are stunning. I particularly loved how the girl’s scenes played out exclusively in illustration.Selznick does a great job with the story, and it’s one that I highly recommend!

Themes/Major Plot Points:

  • Being Deaf
  • Family
  • Death of a parent
  • Grief and loss
  • Adventure
  • Runaways
  • Theatre
  • Museums